US President Donald Trump has boasted that he has “made and saved” his country “billions of dollars and millions of jobs” during his first overseas visit as he arrived at its final destination in Sicily, Italy.
Trump made the claim in a tweet message on Friday after landing in the Italian city for a summit of Group of Seven industrialized nations, known as G-7, describing his trip as “very successful,” without elaborating.
It was not immediately clear what the American president was referring to as no major financial accords were declared following the Thursday summit of the NATO military alliance in Brussels, where he scolded treaty partners over the levels of their national military budgets.
“Getting ready to engage G-7 leaders on many issues including economic growth, terrorism and security,” Trump wrote in a follow-up tweet message, hinting that he intends to further challenge Washington’s European allies.
Prior to the NATO summit, however, Trump had visited Saudi Arabia – before making stops in Israel and Rome for official exchanges with Tel Aviv regime officials and Pope Francis, respectively – where he struck a $110 billion weapons deal with the conservative Persian Gulf kingdom which is currently engaged in a brutal war on its impoverished neighbor, Yemen. The Saudi war has claimed thousands of lives, mostly civilian.
The massive arms accord, which is set to be worth as much as nearly $450 billion over the next 10 years, was widely criticized by US lawmakers, human rights organizations and a number of Middle East nations, pointing to the Saudi regime’s grave human rights record and its ongoing atrocities in Yemen.
The 43rd meeting of leaders of G7 nations on Friday — which is the first such summit for Trump as well as the leaders of Britain, France and host nation Italy, is being held in the small tourist town of Taormina. Other member nations of the G7 are Germany, Canada and Japan.
The heads of state are expected to reach consensus on a measure endorsing further moves to battle terrorism, though they will probably end up struggling to reach agreement on issues such as climate change or trade.